The cover of my new title on Amazon Kindle
I’m not surprised by the number of creative and intelligent women I have known from the very start who happen to be sex workers and even today many of us sex workers in this category seem to be finding our way to each other.
Whether it is ladies creating stunning fashion, skilled photographers with an eye for beauty, artists whose imaginations make me fall in love with their minds, writers of fiction or observers who pen non-fiction: those who can set a scene like no other, musicians and lyricists whose way with melody and rhythm melts my heart, poets who create beauty in simplicity – there are many sex workers (as well as others associated with this industry) I have met who are one of these artists, and whose creativity nurtures their souls.
I once worked for an organisation which encouraged and facilitated people to reveal their talents, almost having to ease the private creations of people safely out of them into the world, creating a vulnerability but with that, an element of freedom (which sometimes is even accompanied by outsider acknowledgment – a secondary benefit). It made us feel like we were midwives, birthing people’s babies, or at least the accidental ideas which had been growing inside them and needed careful nurturing to come out and find their places in the world.
This is something I felt I did for myself when I flirted with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing last year and released five 20 minute long fictional short reads about sex work. I’m not the only sex worker who has done it, and erotica is a well-read category so it was a lot of fun. The day I got my first email telling me Amazon was about to pay me felt like a huge affirmation, and yet I probably gave away almost as many books again on the days I had my free book giveaways, which is something you’re allowed to do to promote your work if you join the KDP Select programme, which some of my books are part of. So it was quite exciting that I had so many readers. It’s not big money, but I did not expect it to be. (I am part of a group of writers though, some of whom are making an excellent living from their Kindle publications).
As many people were generous to me with knowledge, support and encouragement, I would like to encourage other sex workers or anyone interested to give self-publishing on Kindle a try. Whatever they may be, publish YOUR ideas!
Here’s my process:
First I freewrite then tidy it up in a Word document. My most recent little book was non-fiction, and it had a few footnotes at the end of each chapter, which linked to other places, including some blog posts. I also created a hyperlinked Table of Contents. I save the word document as an .rtf file which Amazon will accept.
Next you can create or have someone create a book cover. All the stories by Juliana Finn about Amber O’Hara the sex worker used photos of myself which saved the hassle of getting permissions – this is something I have had to do with my most recent book cover. The book cover itself is saved separately from the text of the book as a .jpg file and should measure at least 625 pixels by at least 1000 pixels. The ratio should be 1:6.
To publish, joining Amazon, then Kindle Direct Publishing is pretty easy. There are twelve steps as described by Michael Hyatt in one of his blog posts under the section Publish. He follows the Publish step with Promote and Launch, offering some excellent suggestions.
If you join Amazon’s Author Central, you can have a publisher’s page and do a lot more for your book. For each Amazon Author Central account you have, you can have up to three pseudonyms, which you can promote if you like by having an author page for each one, for example. If you don’t join Author Central, you can have as many pseudonyms as you like, if you produce different genres of books. For example, my Juliana Finn books are all fiction in the genre of erotica. As my non-fiction series is adapting a lot of what I have written from this blog, these books are authored by Amber O’Hara (who I may not create an author page for at this stage due to being a bit busy.)
I really love that there are so many creative people involved in or around the periphery of sex work, unsurprisingly really as sex work itself is a very creative alternative to a 9 to 5 job. And from the point of view of clients, it is a creative option to solving ones sexual needs. It is my hope, that if you have some words wanting to be heard, or in this case, wanting to be read, that you explore it further, and with any luck I have described the process well enough for you to want to pursue publishing on Amazon.
Feel free to mention your book(s) to us by emailing me or mentioning them in the comments below this post and I will be happy to promote them with you. All the best <3